I also purchased from Crescent for the 3 year warranty.
I mostly agree with your assessment of this unit. I do have however a couple of complaints about my particular unit, which might be defective.
Here's my review:
I fed the projector a steady diet of AVI and Hi-Def MKV files, blu ray and DVDs.
All my viewing was made using a Shuttle XPC SN87SH7, with AMD Phenom II 940 (Quad core), 4 GB RAM, and a Radeon HD5670 connected through DVI.
OS used: Windows XP SP3 (fully updated) and display driver: Catalyst 10.7
I kept the native resolution at 60Hz (the projector accept 75Hz but with a massive amount of tearing on moving images)
The good stuff:
- On a small screen (80" and less), the unit is bright enough even in eco mode for night time viewing
- The colours are bold and saturated; they're absolutely stunning
- Very good black levels (I'm not picky in that department). It tends to crush blacks but that might be resolved with setting the dynamic contrast off. For all my viewing I used the standard setting, as the cinema setting tended towards red quite heavily.
- Very good geometry: no distortion noted (unlike my past Benq 6200)
- The unit is virtually silent in eco-mode, not so much in the other two modes (about as noisy as many of my past projectors in eco mode).
I'd say 28dB for normal mode and 31dB for the noisiest mode to be a fair assessment.
- Brilliant design: compact, interface well laid out and easy to navigate, USB port, and enough options to keep one busy optimising the picture (not that it needs to be)
- The unit remains relatively cool though the air coming out of the right side is very hot. The power brick however gets really hot.
The not so good stuff:
- Even with XGA, the resolution is low by today's standards. Once you get used to WXGA and full HD resolutions, it's hard to get back. Pixellation is muted compared to SVGA projectors but nonetheless present.
- Appalling scaling capabilities: Lower resolutions (i.e. SVGA) are fine, but as I increased the resolution up to 1920x1080, the PC desktop became increasingly blurry and unresolved up to the point of resembling a patchwork of colours. It's not quite as bad with movies, but compared to all my previous machines, this one is the poorest in the scaling department.
I did not have any upscaling DVD player or game consoles to try so I cannot comment on scaling performance using these sources.
- Limited picture setting options when using HDMI. Most of the options (dynamic contrast, colour gamut, ...) are blanked out and can't be changed with HDMI connection; at least from a PC as source.
- Rainbows: I did see some but it was not worse than those observed on 5x machines. So, a non-issue for most people. I tend to see them on all dlp machines; I got used to that fact.
Now, the really, really , really bad stuff
Once again, I think it's only plaguing my machine so far...
I know full well that no lens is perfect and that they are all plagued to some extent by chromatic aberration.
But this lens is really bad in that department. Let's imagine for a moment that even at native resolution, all black fonts on white background and folder icons on the desktop appear slightly smudged, due to a slight coloured trail surrounding them.
It is so bad that even with sharp focus, all images appear slightly out of focus or should I say kind of hazy and it is also impossible to get a perfectly focussed image corner to corner.
When the centre is well focussed, the edges are slightly out of focus and vice-versa.
Initially, I tought it might be due to the irregular surface of the wall I was projecting on, but I tried different surfaces (i.e. walls and pull up screen) and this effect remained quite strong.
Overall, the effect is amazingly annoying and I am taking steps to return the unit immediately based on that sole defect, which I never suffered from with any of my previous machines...
I'v had a look at the lens surface and it was clean and defect-free.
Talking of the lens, there is also a fair amount a circular light spill all around the projected image, but it's only noticeable in really dark scenes and on a white wall.
Really bad quality control here LG!!!
Overall a very good machine, provided that you feed it with its native resolution and that you're lucky enough not to get a dud of a lens.
Based on that machine (minus the lens problem), I can't wait for PJ manufacturers worldwide to get off their lazy bums and offer us some affordable Hi-Def LED projectors in the coming years.
Though I'm not too impressed by LG's effort (mainly due to what I consider an iffy quality control on their lenses), I must congratulate Luminus for their amazing light source. I hope they keep developing new LED chips for home projection systems or at least make the existing ones more affordable to rid the world of traditional light bulbs once and for all.
I hope this helps.